INTERNATIONAL - JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest US bank by assets, said on Sunday that it has selected impoverished areas around Paris as the first foreign focus of an urban economic development strategy it started four years ago in Detroit.
The bank will contribute $30 million over five years to programs to teach job skills and expand small businesses in Seine-Saint-Denis and other places with high unemployment and poverty, JPMorgan said in a statement provided to Reuters.
Located north of Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis has the highest poverty and crime rates in France. Dotted with large social housing projects, the area is separated from wealthy Paris only by an extremely congested highway circling the city. The area was in the center of the riots that devastated suburbs all over France a decade ago.
Chief Executive Jamie Dimon planned to follow the announcement with a visit to the city on Tuesday. Dimon has been leaving more day-to-day operations of the New York-based bank to lieutenants while he promotes policies and public-private partnerships which he believes will promote economic growth.
His advocacy work has been primarily in the United States where JPMorgan earns about 80 percent of its revenue.